This week in Selections Detroit DJ and producer Reggie Dokes steps up to provide us with a few of his most influential beats. A native of Detroit, Dokes’ recent travails have seen him perk up on the likes of Philpot, Royal Oak, Clone and We Play House; proof indeed of his undoubted production nous.
This October will see the release of he Detroit Luv EP, a collaboration of Dokes and fellow Detroit-based producer, Brian Neal. This latest release comes out on Dokes’ own Psychostasia Recordings, a label with a consistent knack for releasing discerning house and techno. Home to the majority of Dokes’ works, the label has also played host to fellow underground cats a la Delano Smith, Dubbyman and Juju & Jordash.
John Rocca - I Want It To Be Real
This record by John Rocca was a huge record in the Detroit dance scene. I was either ninth or tenth grade of high school. During this period a lot of records were coming from New York, Chicago and even Europe. It was not called house when this record was popular in the D. It was called progressive. There was only one record shop in Detroit that sold progressive dance music and that was Buy RIte on seven mile road near Outer Drive. Cliff was the owner, and like Mojo a famous DJ in Detroit, he could see how this music was influencing the club scene. This record changed how I felt about music, because it was so different from anything I had heard.
Frankie Knuckles – The Whistle Song
What can I say. How can you not mention the godfather, Mr. Frankie Knuckles. The Whistle Song was a very big record in house music. This record showed me how this type of music can be simple but yet beautiful at the same time. I still rock this record to this day. People have to remember that Chicago played a huge influence on DJs and producers of this genre called house, and which later birthed the sound of Detroit Techno.
Rhythim Is Rhythim - Strings Of Life
Strings of Life, Transmat Records, Mr. Derrick May. It goes without saying this record was huge in Detroit and across the world. People were beginning to pay attention to what was coming from the greats : Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson of Belleville, Michigan. This record still rocks a party. Anyone who is not familiar with this record has been sleeping under a rock. Know your history, this record is a classic techno record and will forever be etched in mind as a record that will go down in dance music history in a favorable way.
Channel One - Technicolor
Mr. Juan Atkins, he in my humble opinion started this shit. His sound was so revolutionary. I remember rocking this record when I was a senior in high school at the Cass Tech Senior Mixer in Canada. I just remember being excited about this record, and could not wait to play it. This was 1986. Over 25 years later and this record still sounds fresh and innovative.
Aril Brikha - Deeparture In Time
This album was incredible. I remember riding to Toronto with Derrick, and he turns and says, "Reggie, I want you to listen to something. I am thinking about putting this guys music out on Transmat." As we were driving down this long road to Toronto, I was just blown away at the sound of this album. I remember saying, " Put this guy’s record out man." This is Detroit Techno. This guy all the way from Sweden gets it. This album in my opinion put Transmat on another level, and back in the spotlight it deserved. I have not heard techno like this since.
Lil' Louis & The World - Journey with the Lonely
Lil Louis and The World album in my opinion, really made folks respect the genre of house music. A full length album that was beautifully constructed and arranged in a way that is still mind blowing. If I am not mistaken, this album sold a million copies or more. Any DJ from the 80s that still spins house, better have Lil Louis coming out of their mouth, as a huge influence on dance music.
Mr. Fingers - Introduction
What can I say, hands down, Mr. Fingers, aka Larry Heard is the master of soulful and melodic house music. Another full length album that was put out on a major record label. You cannot talk about house music and not mention the huge influence this man had on this genre. At the risk of sounding redundant, this is a classic album and cannot be denied.
Reggie Dokes – Black Thoughts
This record, Black Thoughts by yours truly. This is when I started making records like 2001. I started a record label called Psychostasia Recordings in Detroit. I was influenced from dudes I call my friends, Kenny Dixon Jr. and Theo Parrish. I remember Theo heard this record and did not like it initially, but low and behold, Theo puts out one of his infamous mixtapes, and guess whose record is in the mix, mine, Black Thoughts. Because of him doing that, I started to receive international attention, and subsequently, is the main reason I was able to DJ in Belgium for the first time. Thanks Theo and Bar van neste aka DJ Red D.
Reggie Dokes - Let Me Go (Culoe De Song Zulu Spirit Mix)
First, let me give praise to my brother Boddhi Satva of Offering Records. This remix that Culoe did of my original, put me in a whole different audience, the South African dance scene. I cannot tell you how many people reached out to me from Africa when this record came out. It just truly showed me how this music is international, and how a brother like Culoe De Song can rise to stardom as an international DJ and producer.
Theo Parrish - Took Me All The Way Back
Theo and Kenny in my opinion made this incredible, deep, soulful and emotional house music. In my humble opinion, they put the word Deep, in house music. I remember watching Theo's career take off. I remember when he was living in this small basement apartment in Detroit. I remember when people were not feeling him in the beginning in Detroit, but he persevered. Now look at him. He is considered to be one of the world's most respected DJ's and producers in house music. I am just glad to know him. He made me see that this shit is possible if you just stick to your truth.
Kerri 'Kaoz' Chandler Presents Arnold Jarvis - Inspiration
Kerri Kaoz Chandler, was and still is a huge influence on house music. This brother has a great catalogue, too many records to name. I remember the first time I heard this record, and I just lost my damn mind. When I finally had the opportunity to meet Mr. Chandler, he was so humble, and I remember thinking, "damn, this is the reason he makes such good music, he is grounded, and realises that he has a gift to share." Let me just say, Mr. Chandler has done a very good job in contributing to this genre called house music.
Masters at Work - Can't Get No Sleep (MK Mix)
This record was huge in Detroit, and a lot of us were proud of Marc Kinchen, a native Detroiter. His mixes on a lot of the house classics are a part of house music history, period. There is no denying his influence. Again, I remember hearing this record and losing my damn mind. No one can deny the huge impact that Detroit artists have had on the world.